New ESPO Green Guide 2021 outlines vision for ports towards green future

Isabelle Ryckbost, Secretary General, ESPO

The European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) says the ESPO Green Guide 2021, a Manual for European Ports Towards a Green Future, has now been published.

The ESPO Green Guide 2021 provides Europe’s ports with tools and concrete guidance for greening and comes as a response to the main environmental challenges currently facing the port sector with climate change being by far the most urgent. The Guide is a bottom-up initiative from the port sector. It provides a vision for ports in a green future and steps up the ambition of ports in response to raised climate and environmental targets on the European level.

The commitment of Europe’s ports to the environment and sustainability is not new. Creating an environmental Code of Practice was the first common initiative of the members of ESPO when the Organisation was created in 1993. Since then, the document has been updated and revised twice, meeting the challenges of the day.

The ESPO Green Guide 2021 builds on the previous guide(s) but takes it a step further. It corresponds to the changing environmental context in which ports are operating and today’s environmental priorities of European ports. It includes a template for individual port roadmaps and a checklist of greening tools available to port authorities.

The new Guide also includes a comprehensive and updated overview of port-relevant EU and international legislation. For the first time, the Green Guide is accompanied by a new and continuously updated digital database of good green practices from European ports. Over 70+ good practices are already available at www.espo.be/practices.

“Over the last ten years, both ports and the environmental context in which ports are operating have been changing. This new ESPO Green Guide is a response to these developments. European port authorities want to be an active partner in Europe’s green future. This means becoming fully environmentally sustainable and achieving net-zero pollution over time. The Guide also explains how ports can actively contribute to greening the economy and society. I would like to thank all ports who have contributed to developing this new edition of ESPO’s Green Guide, which is really a manual from ports to ports. It fits with ESPO’s ambition to be also a knowledge network of port professionals who strive, where possible, to be frontrunners in key fields such as environmental management,” said Isabelle Ryckbost, Secretary General ESPO.

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